Do you have a mold problem? Are you considering sunlight as a treatment to solve it?
In this article you will learn:
- How sunlight kills mold,
- If sunlight is an effective remedy for mold,
- How you can use sunlight to get rid of existing mold.
Mold spores can spread rapidly and pose serious health risks, so determining and performing a good treatment plan as soon as possible is essential.
Sunlight can be Extremely Effective for this!
How Does Sunlight Kill Mold?
Sunlight, or more accurately, ultraviolet light produces electromagnetic radiation that kills microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, and fungi(aka mold).
Because of it’s ability to change the composition of genetic molecules, UV light can cause direct damage to DNA.
The UV light penetrates deep into the nucleus and kills the DNA and RNA cells in mold.
Thus, inhibiting the mold’s ability to grow or reproduce and causing it to die off. But you didn’t come here for the science, did you?
Is Sunlight Effective For Killing Mold?
The effectiveness of sunlight treatment for mold is dependent on a number of factors.
The amount of time the mold is exposed to the light plays a big role in how successful the treatment will be. The longer it’s exposed the better.
Make sure the light engulfs the entire area as well as that the light has a direct line of sight on the mold. Because of this sunlight may not be effective for deeply rooted mold. Another important factor is the distance between the source of the light and the target mold, surface mold will be easiest to get rid of.
If good conditions are met, then mold can be eliminated in 1-3 hours using this treatment.
Although sunlight can effectively kill mold and mold spores, it does not replace complete remediation.
You will still need to physically clean the mold away to avoid mold dust and potential regrowth.
How To Use Sunlight To Kill And Get Rid Of Mold
No matter where you have mold, please be sure to follow safety precautions when dealing with mold.
Always wear some kind of face mask or even a respirator depending on how much mold you are dealing with.
Gloves are a must and protective eye wear is recommended. Make sure you do mold clean ups in areas where unprotected people won’t be exposed.
Also, be sure to dispose of severely mold-damaged items.
Mold On Wood Furniture
For surface mold on wood furniture begin by vacuuming up loose mold spores.
Then you can move the furniture outside in direct sunlight. Make sure to do this early in the morning and leave it out until sunset for maximum exposure.
Also use a distilled white vinegar and water solution to spray the furniture in the morning before you set it outside to increase effectiveness.
If needed you can repeat for another day or two.
Mold On Fabric Furniture
Once again, start by vacuuming up what you can. Take the furniture outside on a sunny non-humid day.
You should first dilute vinegar with water and sponge it onto the moldy surface.
You’ll also want to spot test with the solution first to make sure it won’t damage the fabric. Then use water to get ride of residual vinegar. Let it air dry under the sun’s rays.
Mold On Building Timber
For mold on timber you can simply leave the wood outside in the sunshine for 2-3 days. Make sure the conditions are hot and dry.
You will still need to physically clean up the mold. For this you can again use a vinegar and water solution and/or vacuuming up the loose mold particles.
Timber tends to stain once it has had mold and there usually isn’t anything you can do about the staining apart from running it through a wood planner machine.
If building timber is severely mold affected – Do not use it for anything other than perhaps raised garden beds.
Using it inside your house/structure can only cause severe mold infestation in your home.
Mold On Books
If your book is wet you must first dry it before dealing with the mold. First use a fine brush or a very soft cloth to gently brush away the mildew or mold.
Then, simply place the book in direct sunlight.
Make sure to not leave the book outside for more than 1 hour as sunlight can also cause damage to your book.
Rotate the Book Frequently making sure that every page gets exposed to sunlight.
Mold On Clothes
First you need to wash the clothing, preferably in hot water and/or with a mold killer.
One option is to soak them in a vinegar and water solution for about an hour before washing them with hot water.
Then you would hang them up to dry outside where they can get direct sunlight and fresh air. You may need to repeat the process.
Does Sunlight Inhibit Mold Growth?
Yes! Sunlight penetrates mold’s DNA and RNA cells and corrupts them in a way that does indeed inhibit mold growth.
So you can feel pretty secure knowing that no mold will be growing in the presence of direct sunlight.
Is It Worth It To Use Sunlight To Kill Mold On Items?
Not only is sunlight the cheapest option, but also the most environmentally friendly option.
If you have mold on something that can be easily transported into direct sunlight then yes it is most definitely worth it.
Now sunshine isn’t going to be the best option for very extensive and deeply-rooted problems but for any surface mold you have going on it can get the job done. Sunlight is an effective natural resource, why not put it to use?
Should I Call A Professional?
If none of these practices work for your mold problem then it may be time to call in a professional.
Especially if the mold infested area is quite large. Mold can be a various serious health risk and should not be taken lightly.